Here is the meat and potatoes you will need:
The Mets were largely criticized when they signed K-rod to what was then the richest contract ever given to a relief pitcher.
What many people may not have realized is that Rodriguez’s three year, $37 million deal includes a $17.5 million option for 2012.
This option triggers automatically if he finishes 55 total games in 2011 and doctors declare him healthy.
Rodriguez, and his violent delivery, has stayed pretty healthy throughout his career. There is little doubt he won’t remain in good health during the 2011 season. Mental health is a whole other issue altogether.
But the Mets have obviously lost a considerable amount of patience with Rodriguez’s on the field performance and off the field antics. One could say that no reliever is worth $17.5 million a year. No one is going to say that Rodriguez is that reliever. I would say it is a safe bet that the Mets will not be running K-Rod out there 55+ times in 2011.
What does that mean to Joe Fantasy Draft? Well it means that Rodriguez isn’t going to pile up too many innings. He will most likely only pitch in games where there is a save situation entering the ninth. These are 55 appearances, folks. Not innings. K-Rod could conceivably be kept out of 1-out save situations if the Mets give up runs in the 9th.
He may still get 30+ saves but his innings will be low enough to where his ratios won’t affect your bottom line. I would bet he won’t provide you with many vulture wins as well. Rodriguez will probably be kept on the bench most of the time during tie ball games. And kiss non-save situations goodbye.
But we all know closers tank your ERA/WHIP in non-save situations.